Soup season is here and it’s the perfect time to make vegetable broth! Broth is one of those recipes that once you realize how easy it is to make from scratch, you’ll never drink it out of a can or box again!
A home made hearty broth is perfect even on its own as a snack between meals or when you trying to detox. And without saying it is like a hug if you’re under the weather.
Once you’ve nailed the basic broth, there are infinite combinations you can get creative with to make your own version of it! It’s also perfect for adding those veggie scraps you’d otherwise discard like ends of asparagus, green onions or leeks or green beans; stalks of broccoli, the greens from top of radishes, carrots or beets. Stems of kale or fresh herbs, cons of corn, I mean the list is endless.
I make one big batch and use it for all soups I make, for a couple of weeks, so I tend to keep my recipe simple and avoid too many strong flavors. I reserve the addition of a strong flavor lending ingredient like mushrooms, herbs, spices etc for when I make soup itself.
By all means, if you’re making broth one time for a specific soup, go crazy! My favorite broth to make for a Mexican tortilla soup is a basic broth with cumin, jalapeño and cilantro infused into it. And if you’re making minestrone or any other Italian inspired soup, you could add basil, crushed red peppers, and capers. I also make a Indian-ish version with turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic masala, and asafetida. Try it, it’s divine as a base for a cauliflower soup or white bean soup.
If you have an instant pot (or any pressure cooker) you’re life just got even easier! I find it best for making this. Stove top will work as well, it just takes more time.
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
6 small cloves of garlic
Broccoli stalks, from 2 bunches
Asparagus stalks, from 1 bunch
Scallions/Green onions, the white ends only, 1 bunch
8 Baby Carrots
Green beans, ends of
Kale stems, discarded from 1 bunch
Parsley stems, one bunch
Bay leaves, 2
1 bag riced cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli from trader joes (I happened to have it and decided to throw it in, this is optional)
Kosher salt, 2 tbsp for about
Since I make a big batch, and make soups very often, these ingredients make at least 64 oz of broth. Adjust quantities for how much broth you’re looking to make.
Method: Instant Pot
Add all the above ingredients to the instant pot. Fill to max limit with water. Cover, seal the vent, and set to manual high pressure for 30 minutes. Once the timing count down is complete, let it NR (naturally release) completely. This takes about another 30 minutes.
Open the lid carefully, it will still be very hot. Drain the veggies completely through a colander and into a stock pot. I found that the remaining veggies still have so much flavor and goodness in them that I repeat the process again, filling the instant pot to max and cooking them again for 30 minutes. The second strain of broth will be a little lighter, but still has the all the goodness and flavor of a veggie broth. You could mix both strain 1 and 2, or keep them separate and use depending on the kind of soup you’re making and how strong you want the broth to be.
Method : Stove Top
Find a stock pot or a pasta pot big enough to hold the water and the veggies. Add all the above ingredients to the stock pot, add 32 ounces of water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer over low-medium making sure there is a gentle boil. Cook covered for an hour, and let it cool. Strain through a colander, and return the veggies back to the stop pot for strain 2. Add 32 more ounces of water and repeat the entire process. Reserve both strains. You could mix both strain 1 and 2, or keep them separate and use depending on the kind of soup you’re making and how strong you want the broth flavor to be.
This is where the making of the broth ends, and this below process/step is completely optional!
Drinking Broth: I am always keen on making sure there is as little produce wastage. So I take the veggies after the two strains of broth making to the vitamix. It is unbelievable how much flavor, nutrition and lushness still remain in the veggies. I add about 10 ounces of water, and blend this mixture thoroughly. It will be more fibrous of course, but after about 2-3 minutes of blending, I strain the veggies. What’s left is the most delicious and nutritious drinking broth. A squeeze of lemon, some crushed red pepper, and it’s absolute yumminess.